Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Native tribes' traditional knowledge can help US adapt to climate change

Date:
October 3, 2013
Source:
Dartmouth College
Summary:
New England's Native tribes, whose sustainable ways of farming, forestry, hunting and land and water management were devastated by European colonists four centuries ago, can help modern America adapt to climate change.

New England's Native tribes, whose sustainable ways of farming, forestry, hunting and land and water management were devastated by European colonists four centuries ago, can help modern America adapt to climate change.

Related Articles


That's the conclusion of more than 50 researchers at Dartmouth and elsewhere in a special issue of the journal Climatic Change. It is the first time a peer-reviewed journal has focused exclusively on climate change's impacts on U.S. tribes and how they are responding to the changing environments. Dartmouth also will host an Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Working Group meeting Nov. 4- 5.

The special issue, which includes 13 articles, concludes that tribes' traditional ecological knowledge can play a key role in developing scientific solutions to adapt to the impacts. "The partnerships between tribal peoples and their non-tribal research allies give us a model for responsible and respectful international collaboration," the authors say.

Dartmouth assistant professors Nicholas Reo and Angela Parker, whose article is titled "Re-thinking colonialism to prepare for the impacts of rapid environmental change," said New England settlers created a cascade of environmental and human changes that spread across North America, including human diseases, invasive species, deforestation and overharvest.

The researchers identified social and ecological tipping points and feedback loops that amplify and mitigate environmental change. For example, prior to the arrival of Europeans, old growth deciduous forests were rich with animal and plant resources and covered more than 80 percent of New England. Native peoples helped to sustain this bountiful biodiversity for centuries through their land practices.

"But when indigenous communities were decimated by disease and eventually alienated from their known environments, land tenure innovations based on deep, local ecological knowledge, disappeared," the researchers say. "Colonists, and their extractive systems aimed at key animal and plant species, became the new shapers of cultural landscapes. Rapid ecological degradation subsequently ensued, and New Englanders created a difficult project of stewarding a far less resilient landscape without help from indigenous land managers who would have known best how to enact ecological restoration measures."

Today's tribal members who work with natural resources, such as fisherman, farmers and land managers, can play key roles in devising local and regional strategies to adapt to climate change, the researchers say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dartmouth College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nicholas James Reo, Angela K. Parker. Re-thinking colonialism to prepare for the impacts of rapid environmental change. Climatic Change, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10584-013-0783-7

Cite This Page:

Dartmouth College. "Native tribes' traditional knowledge can help US adapt to climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003162944.htm>.
Dartmouth College. (2013, October 3). Native tribes' traditional knowledge can help US adapt to climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003162944.htm
Dartmouth College. "Native tribes' traditional knowledge can help US adapt to climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131003162944.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins